A final review of the iconic Land Rover Defender

It is no secret that the iconic Land Rover Defender will not be manufactured at the Solihull plant for much longer. Whether its manufacture will be continued in some other part of the world is not clear; however, it is clear that this vehicle has been around for nearly 70 years.

The closest rivals to the Defender are the Mitsubishi Shogun and the Toyota Land Cruiser, both of which have an excellent pedigree but fall short of the British Defender when it comes to off-road ability. There are many cars that are more comfortable and drive more efficiently on motorways; however, people don't buy into Land Rover for these features.

The Defender can be purchased in three sizes: 90,110 and 130, which refer to the distance between the rear and front wheels. There are several body types available, such as the van-like hard top, the station wagon and the pick-up. The engine, unlike in modern SUVs, is limited to the 2.2-litre diesel, which is not only noisy but also extremely thirsty; however, the owner gets superb pulling power. At a meagre 30mpg maximum and with high CO2 emissions, this is not the most cost-effective vehicle to run.

With permanent four-wheel drive, large wheels and tyres, a rust-resistant aluminium body and a cabin minus a radio, it can be hard to see why this car has lasted so long. There has to be something about any car to keep it at the top for seven decades, however, and whatever the 'X factor' is, the Defender certainly has it in abundance.